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    Revengers Tragedy

    Presented by at Harvard Film Archive

    June 2, 2012


    Revengers Tragedy

    Like Death and the Compass, Cox’s other literary adaptation stars Christopher Eccleston and features a quite mannerist mise-en-scene, with production design by Cox’s frequent collaborator Cecilia Montiel. The source material here is The Revenger’s Tragedy, a Jacobean play from 1606 attributed to Thomas Middleton, and like so much English drama of its era, it is a bloody tale of lust and murder littered with corpses. Cox transplants it to a post-apocalyptic Liverpool in the distant future of 2011 where government surveillance satellites patrol the skies and media images are omnipresent. The film’s ironic stance towards its own gore is clearly a directorial strategy whereby Middleton’s dark musings on the corrosive nature of power are updated to point out that the contemporary fascination with violence reveals a corruption stemming from the media and the state alike.

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